My Life is really in the Garden

Enjoying and sharing the daily discoveries of the beautiful nature that surrounds me in my lovely garden and everywhere else!


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Little Squirrely visits again .. bulbs are appearing and spring isn’t far away it seems!

Little Squirrely … I leave unshelled peanuts in various locations around the yard.  This one doesn’t bother anyone.  Although one day I happened to look out the window and saw 2 squirrels in the tree, they moved so quickly it seemed as if they were flying .. territorial clash or something?

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Signs of spring.  Bulbs planted, forgotten .. thrive emerging from beneath the rock.  When I see this type of growth I am always reminded of the words of Kashtin (when I saw them perform in Victoria, many years ago) that sometimes a plant has to go through a rock before it can flower.  This resonates with me.  Emergence is a stronger and thriving life in the sunshine.

p1310567Yippeeeeeeeeeeeee ..  here I am again!  Planted years ago, and popping up already .. preparing to display lovely blue flowers in the spring. p1310570The magnificent rose bush that resides nearby ..proudly showing new growth and also a graceful remainder of a rosebud from last season.p1310572Once again at the most beautiful jewel of serenity close by .. the walkway at Swan Lake .. I plan to visit there again today.   Love this place so much.p1310598

Such beauty …p1310596

At Swan . beautiful moss and lichen adorn a tree branch .. lots of material for the birds to use in their nests ..p1310587

Lovely …up above …

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It was a quiet time of the day when I went for my little walk .. a gentle breeze created the smallest of little wavelets on the surface of the water.  Such a peaceful place to be.

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Stately Geese in a side marsh .. looking over .. ever so subtlely .. perhaps I had some flatted oats with me?  Not today guys .. I need to visit the Nature House to buy a little packet of the oats for them, on another visit…p1310591

Some Mallards were busily seeking out delicious treats from the water …p1310592

Stopped for awhile to gaze at this hawk, tucked away in the branches.  Looking for a midday meal.

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Suddenly, the hawk flew away and I stood there awhile, watching this raptor soar up above and then away.   p1310627

Back at home, I was wandering around the yard and saw this beautiful Spotted Towhee perched in some branches, near one of the bird feeders. These birds are very shy and I knew it would fly away so I stood quietly … hoping to get some pictures.   I zoomed in as much as possible, from 30 feet away.

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Patience was rewarded.  Such a strikingly handsome bird.

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I fought the urge to take a photo of this camper, which was filling up at a local gas station.  But I could only stand this for awhile and in the end, grabbed my camera and took a pic just as it was leaving the station.  And I fought the urge to go and speak to the driver .. to ask questions about this lovely camper.  If I see it again, though, and it is possible to speak with them .. well .. I will do that!

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It is so lovely to feel the approach of spring .. with the emergence of bulbs .. although it is still February and I know that there will be frosts again in the coming months.  The ground will thaw and freeze and repeat.

Still, it is wonderful to be outside and dream about changing the garden.  I should be outside, cleaning up the various areas, and keep putting that work off for a little bit more.  So I can practise my fiddle and play with my beads and wire.   When the days are warm and sunny it will be impossible to stay inside when the outdoors beckons so tantalizingly.

And it looks like the day ahead is going to be one of these lovely sunny days so I’d best get going and see what adventures await me and my camera!

🙂


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Has it really been a year??? Oh, and the magic is still in the garden. And .. today I went to the Rock & Gem Show at Pearkes Arena, Victoria, BC

Well.. my goodness gracious me.  (I’ve always liked that sentence and it seems appropriate to use it today).  I think that it is a line that was used many times in the older movies and it has a kind of gracious, civilized, yet .. homey feeling I think.

I just love blogging . .it’s been a very creative outlet for me which I began when I retired and that is about 5 or so years ago.  A time in my life when I could begin focusing my energies on things that I like doing.

Gardening is number one of course and in my first year that is what I did.  I started a small business “The Dog Walking Gardener” and actually worked for a few people and then I realized that I’d never in my life had this time for me so why am I trying to fill it up with working .. so I stopped that.  And worked on transforming our yard into a funky organic place and this has been ongoing and will stop when we move.  And then I will start again.

For those who love gardening .. and here I’ll speak for myself on this, cause there are many reasons why people garden.  I should really say .. for me .. gardening equals a strong reconnection to the earth, a grounding, as it were.  A way of channeling into my most inner, special, creative being.  I’m not being spiritual here.  I’m just stating the facts.

Today, I worked in my garden in the late afternoon .. it’s been terribly hot here and the sun has been very strong.  So when I went outside, with my mug of Yorkshire Tea .. I was just really wanting to get some good energy for moving things around.  I started out with our little JaneE Kat .. she’ll be 21 in December!  She sits in the stairway that leads to the basement, waiting for me to go outside so I can put treats on the pathway for her!  She is reward orientated.

Here is JaneE in our motorhome when we travelled to Hope, BC, to visit the Vancouver Soaring Club .. so beautiful and more about that later.  Anyway, she is getting quite comfortable with being in the motorhome, as far as she is concerned ..all that is outside is like a tv!

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Then, mug in hand, I moved around the yard, listening to the most beautiful soothing music from my IPod .. and I was watering another section of parched yard at the time.  I drifted backwards in time to when I was little … when I started a circular patch of sunflowers from a 5 cent packet of seeds, into our hard packed back yard.  I clearly remember the 5 cents and the happy sunflowers on the packet of seed .. and I have no idea where the packet came from .. I just seemed to have it.  The seeds grew and were beautiful and cheerful.  I was going to do that this year but somehow .. it didn’t happen .. there is always next year.

Here is sweet little JaneE, sleeping away on the outside stairs .. yegads how I love her.

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Thanks to the hungry birds at the feeder, though, there are lots of sunflowers sprouting throughout the yard .. so I guess, in reality, they are making my dream come through!

Anyway .. it was a most beautiful chunk of time, watering the plants, listening to the music, drifting back in time and being extremely grateful that I have this bit of paradise that I have created .. that reflects my inner self and a space where I can just revel in beauty and appreciate the energy that comes from the growing plants.

For I have become quite enamored of beans!  The climbers that I planted.  The tiny seeds that I nurtured, which grow most magically into magnificent plants that twirl above my head .. reaching always for a place to grow.   Isn’t it so humbling that a tiny seed contains absolutely everything that is needed to morph into a plant that will give me good food.  Everyday I go outside to check on them.  The Annie Jackson Pole Beans, Spanish Musica, Cherokee Trail of Tears and my most favourite bean, which I call “my favourite bean”.  It’s heritage and special and I forget the name.  One day I’ll look on Salt Spring Island Seeds or from Annapolis Seeds at:  http://www.annapolisseeds.com  as those are the two places where I’ve ordered seeds from.  Excellent quality.  Crispy long pods that crunch when you bite into them!

This photo is for me to look at in the winter so I can remember how lovely it is to watch the beans growing on my makeshift garden ..

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It’s been a busy day … and more about that another time.  About computers and the time spent getting new ones to behave, many trips to the shop.

Bees and sunflowers ..

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Smiling sunflowers .. same flower one day apart ..

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This rose was dying until I gave it some water .. like a little love ..it works miracles.

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A lovely bit of fluff on some ornamental grass .. ethereal and so sweet .

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Comfrey flowers for the bees ..
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Squash growing in some sieved compost ..what to do .. I have tried repotting one of them .. they have grown so I must try to let them grow .. in another area as there is no drainage in this container!

018This is a great year for fruit in our city .. and here is an example from one of our trees!

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Picked this up at Michaels last week .. excellent!

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A seed planted in a pot and lookee here!

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Scarlett Red Runner Beans .. this was a surprise plant .. I had looked at it one day and saw it twining upwards, perhaps a forgotten seed from last year and suddenly … beans!  They were delicious!
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Spanish Musica beans .. very tall pole beans ..

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Little Anna in one of the apple trees ..

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And I’ve been spending so very much time this year with creative endeavours.  Today, this included two trips to the Rock and Bead show at the Pearkes Arena.  I spoke with such creative people and took lots of photos, which I will share tomorrow.

Lived in a creative manner .. life is stupendous and amazing and energizing.

🙂

till tomorrow ….

 

 

 

 

 


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Music has great power if only we can listen

Much has been written about the power of music to help plants grow.  Studies have been done to prove the energy levels.  I know that constant heavy noise has a negative effect. Why do you think the birds will fly away to a quieter place?

I feed the birds and they flock around (excuse the pun!).

And I play music.  Not live, cause my fiddle playing would make the construction noise sound beautiful.

I charge up my little iPods with all sorts of world music, including music for plants. 

Here is a good site for more information on music & plants:  www.musicforyourplants.com

I’ve been busy with my plants, enjoying the “winter sowing summer seeds” in my little milk jug terrariums .. even the lavender has been sprouting!  I planted them on February 14/14 .. I’d tried growing them in previous years, but no joy .. look at this!

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Enjoy ..

I’m away to the garden and will add photos later.

Smile


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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Well so much for my getting over procrastinating about blogging!  It’s been awhile .. and so I am making a huge effort to get back.

What reasons can I use for not blogging for over 2 months?   I’ve spent so much time in the garden … and have joined the most amazing bootcamp and dog sitting and you name it.   So this sign that I saw in a local park was totally appropriate, I think, for my first photo on my return!

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I’ve enjoyed the most amazing skies …

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These sky pictures are from a week or so ago .. very dreamy overhead ..in the heavens .. when I was out for a walk with darling little Coco dog.
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We were pet sitting her for over a month and now she has gone back to her doggy parents.   She is a sweet little dog.

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This is one of the sights along the path way of the Gorge park … our boot camp goes to the most amazing places.  Victoria, BC is one of the absolutely amazing places to be.   I have gone to places hitherto unknown to me and I’ve lived here for many many years.   There are incredible forested areas deep within the heart of this city and without this group I would have had no idea that these pockets of paradise exist.

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Just had to stop and admire this carved birdhouse ..15

Such a tranquil setting and the pathway is very lengthy and totally beautiful

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This is from another outing.    If I don’t take signage photos, then I really have no idea where I am.  Let me tell you, this group is just a fantastic gathering of interesting ladies!  My life has changed so much since I’ve joined them.   I have way more energy and my interests have broadened as I listen to conversations on art and life.  And my chattering on gardening and the magic of EM!! (effective microorganisms … see:  http://www.gardenerspantry.ca/).

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And on another day, I met with a friend for lunch at the Stonehouse Pub, just the other side of Sidney, B.C.  This is a little sunken garden and I just felt like being silly.  Actually, I would love to have a little sunken garden like this one .. so I was dreaming a little bit about that and M took this photo.  I have a little lunch takeout box with some beautiful lichen that I found on the ground… silly me.

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Today it snowed .. brrrrrrr .. here’s a little apple left out for the birds to nibble on…

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One of those cute garden decorations that are enhanced with the snow.  Perhaps there are tiny inhabitants of this little building .. I wonder …

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The birds had been doing their “shuffle shuffle” dancing on this circle of ice ..

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Guess I’ll have to empty this container as I don’t think the carrots will be growing anymore.  I planted the seeds at the very end of the summer, just couldn’t resist trying to grow them.  Organic, non GMO … the only kind to grow, don’t you think.

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And yesterday, while the sun was out shining .. I moved my garlic containers around.   I’d been devastated this summer as I realized that my garlic had grown in the same area for 2 years and I needed to plant them elsewhere.  This was the sunniest part of the yard so I hadn’t many options.  The option I chose was to use containers!  I guess I kind of got carried away, because I now have: 8 blue styrofoam containers, one large half oak barrel, 31 very large plant containers, 2 raised beds, and a number of rectangular containers.   Plus garlic from Ireland and some from Christine!

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Seen from farther back, you get a better picture .. but .. there are other containers planted withgarlic at the side .. sigh.

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Some Rosemary cuttings ( I have 2 flats of these) taken in the summer .. fingers crossed that some of them will root for springtime.

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Sweet little Anna sitting in the sun . .there are quite a few in our yard ..

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I took this photo of a Spotted Towee, sitting outside our kitchen window .. beautiful winged creature.

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Can you see the squirrel?  I took this photo from the kitchen window also … felt bad for him, I’d moved the sunflower feeder to another area so he was confused and hungry.   I sprinkled a generous amount of sunflowers seeds on this bale of hay and soon he was happily munching away.
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Sweet little gold crowned sparrow .. choosing sunflowers that have fallen from the window feeder.  The tones of their songs touch my heart deeply and I was so very happy when I heard them calling from the trees in our yard a few months ago.

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And now I’ll sign off … with a good-bye to our little Duncan .. a once feral cat, well loved .. he was called to the Rainbow Bridge 2 weeks ago.  He was lord of the yard and after years of trying to get along with JaneE .. he’d finally accepted that she was the boss in their cat relationship.  We will miss him forever and he’s always in our hearts.

Dunky


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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ha .. again the weather report was wrong and today was a sunny day and no rain!

Enjoying the tranquility of my garden and the lovely plants that are happily growing therein!  Here is a lovely basket of lettuce & some carrots that I harvested a few days ago:

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I felt quite pleased with myself for harvesting a variety of lettuce, some I’d quite forgotten that I’d planted!  Cause they were in pots around the yard.  Good idea to have them in the same area!

One of the many beautiful skies overhead .. I love the muted blues in this one

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This geranium is slowing opening scarlet flowers .. such a lovely surprise .. it hasn’t flowered all year, imagine that!  So I am quite happy to see this ..

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So happy, also, to see that the birds have been feeding on the sunflower seeds

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While I’ve been doing other things in the house and yard, my feathered friends have been enjoying these seeds …

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Next year I will search for very large sunflower seeds to plant so I can grow lots more for the birds to feed on.  These plants have grown from the seeds fallen from the bird feeders .. a good trade, I think.

02This time of the year is so rewarding … time to enjoy the garden.   Watch the birds.  Look way up at the skies.

It’s been a good summer and I’ve already started ordering Heirloom seeds for next year’s beans and peas.   More later.

It’s been a busy day and time to relax.

🙂


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Monday, September 16, 2013

Such a lovely quiet weekend .. spent time in my garden.  Decadent hours with some of my gardening book collection scattered around me.  A few mugs of Yorkshire Tea.   Inspirational and melodic music playing from my iPod.   Birds twittering.  Sun trying to break through the clouds.  I hadn’t spent such a peaceful relaxing and decadent time in the back yard for a long time.  And it was just wonderful, thank you very much.

And I finally started a long-awaited project of naming the plants that surround me  …. this is truly a formidable task and one I’d started a number of times and just given up.

But Saturday was the day that I once again began this Herculean task.   Armed with my (new) aluminum writing case (I’ll just have to take a photo today to show this and my notes)  …. I started at one side of the yard and began the initial rough drawings, along with a legend of names.

Discovered quite a few name tags were not attached to the plants, so began taking photos and will do some research.  If I have trouble identifying them, then one day soon I will post photos and ask for help from the gardening community!

Oh, wow .. I know that I am a plantaholic but even the list that I made overwhelms me.  I’m currently on page 11 and have only covered maybe less than 3/4 of the yard.  Gulp

Then I took time out to move some of the recently acquired bales of hay .. the dance of moving the bales from the car, through to the back yard and then to the compost area has begun:

01While moving the hay, I heard the soft trill of the European Starling

15aDainty little sunflower peeking out of the tomato planted basket .. how sweet ..

02Volunteer tomatoes have sprung up among the squash plants …

14It seems as if these jewels have popped up overnight …. they are pretty

10The magic of plants .. ever-growing in the sun (and the rain)

12Tiny little squash .. still lots of growing time left as the first frost in Victoria isn’t predicted till early November.

11Another little patch of sunflowers .. growing near one of the bird feeders

13This squash is growing quite well .. wondering how big it will be when it is time to harvest!  I plan to save this one for decoration until it’s finally time to cook it ..

09Lots of surprises every day in the garden … as I find little treasures tucked away …

07I truly was surprised to see the one luffa plant that survived!  I’d started out with maybe 6 that had sprouted.  This jewel keeps opening up flowers daily …..I love the shape and texture, they are very delicate ..almost humble

06Every luffa fruit that had grown lasted only for a few days before dropping off, so this really was a treat to find an actual luffa growing around the aluminum tubes that are stored here.  And imagine my surprise when I found another one growing nearby yesterday!  These really are gifts from my garden.  Thank you.

05And I just liked the look of the sage plant growing nearby …. I have zillions of sage seeds, so perhaps next year I’ll plant a hedge .. that would be very striking in the summer!

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Grow on .. squash … whether or not I actually am able to harvest squash from this plant matters not   The beauty fills my heart with the joy of the magic of plants.   Plus this will be nice to look at in the cool winter months when I dream again of planting my veggie garden!  Although I think that I might make a structure for them to grow on.  This is my first experience of growing them and is a bit of a learning curve that happens to all.

03There are a few of this type of squash growing .. looks like a spaghetti squash, but not really sure what it is.

08It just never gets tired .. the joy and magic I find in my garden.   And I’ve so enjoyed the wonderful time just being outside, looking through books.   Getting to know what is growing where and listing the names.  I’m reconnecting with the beauties that I’ve been gathering for a few years.

Some will be moved to another area of the yard.   Some will be propagated quite easily.  Lots to do yet in my back yard adventures.  And more delightful discoveries to be made as I venture out there.

sigh.

Time to start my day!

🙂


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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Today is starting off in a fog.  Not for me, mind you, I’m as sharp as I can be on a Saturday morning.  Sipping away at my second mug of Yorkshire Tea.  Kitties (they are all grown up, but, to me they will always remain kitties) are fed, treats given … their day is well started.

The world outside my windows is in a foggy state.  Two days in a row now.  Soon the sun will shine through and I will be outside playing in the yard.

Rains are destined to start tomorrow.   Guess that means summer is over?  However, I seem to recall from previous years that there will still be days of sun .. and for that I am thankful, or rather, my tomatoes, squash etc. will be grateful.  Oh, and the beans, mustn’t forget about them.

My marvellous crop of Kentucky Wonder Beans are doing so well this year.  Last year, I’d left the package outside and it rained .. and they sprouted .. and then I planted them in the shade.  So much to learn about veggie gardening.  I’m making progress.  Decided to grow the easy veggies:  squash, lettuce, beans, peas, tomatoes (well, still learning about them).  And my absolute favourites – garlic and shallots.   And although my experiment with growing potatoes in bags didn’t work out for me this year ..I will try again next year with another system.   Despite a very late start to the growing season … I’m happy with what my garden has given me.

Anyway, my KWB’s grow like crazy … spiraling ever higher!  I had grown some in pots and trained them up trellis up high onto my sundeck.  And learned yet another lesson.  How easy is it to gather the beans from this high?   First of all, I need a ladder set securely on the ground to reach halfway.  Then when I go up to the decking, I am only able to reach down and gather a few.   So think next year I might just grow decorative vines in this area and will leave the beans to flourish on a much better type of structure.

Speaking of garden structure!   I wasn’t really prepared for the extravagant growth of my beans so have been making makeshift forms for them to grow on, adding bamboo stakes, garden trellis, a real mish mash.  I’ve taken photos, just for me to chuckle over during the winter months.

So, one day in August I went for a walk … lovely skies …

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And I met this most lovely dog.  Isn’t he handsome?  I also had a nice chat with his doggy-mom about making blackberry jelly, using apples for the pectin source.  You see, I was picking blackberries on that morning.  And my first reward was meeting this great dog!

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Another reward for my walk was seeing random wild flowers, growing and blooming, despite the dry weather conditions.  The bees love them.

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And these cornflowers brighten up the area also …. random beauty, free growing plants, uncontrolled by any gardener, except for good ole Mother Nature!

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Here are some jars of blackberry juice from my first blackberry pickings.    Now in the freezer.  Yum.

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Blue beans from Renee’s GMO free, organic seeds.  🙂

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As always, loving the diversity of sunflower shapes in my back yard.   Always spreading cheer and beauty.  Thank you .. my lovelies.

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Enjoying this day and ready to change into my gardening outfit … lovely worn Carhartt bibs and long-sleeved tee-shirt, gumboots, gloves (which I rarely wear) and sun cap.   OH .. wait .. I need to brew more tea so I can start my gardening day with a walkabout and admiration of all that is growing in our little paradise.

More on that later.  Time to watch the birdies also.  The lovely Chestnut-backed Chickadees, the Red-chested Nuthatches, the Anna’s, the Fox Sparrows, some house sparrows.  Wrens also.   The Robins seem to have disappeared right now … wonder where they have gone?  Bet I’ll find them when I start moving the compost around, though!  They love those big earthworms.

🙂